Saudi Arabia seized a record 46 million amphetamine tablets. They were hidden in flour

Anhelina Sheremet

Saudi authorities have announced the seizure of 46 million amphetamine tablets smuggled in flour shipments, a record for the country.

Security forces tracked the cargo as it arrived at the Riyadh Dry Port and was taken to a warehouse. Six Syrians and two Pakistanis were arrested during the warehouse raid. It is not known where the party came from.

The shipment of 46,916,480 amphetamine tablets was "the largest operation to smuggle such quantities of drugs into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a single operation."

The Drug Enforcement Administration said it was amphetamine, but the BBC reports that Saudi Arabia is the biggest market for pills bearing the captagon logo. Captagon is a mixture of amphetamine, caffeine and various fillers, and is one of the most popular drugs among affluent youth in the Persian Gulf. This drug was also used by participants in the civil war in Syria, because it dulls fear on the battlefield. Global trade in captagon is growing rapidly and was estimated at $5.7 billion last year.

In Saudi Arabia, people involved in drug smuggling can be sentenced to death, although there is a moratorium on executions for non-violent drug crimes starting in 2021. Last year, the Saudi Arabian government suspended all fruit and vegetable imports to Lebanon after five million captagon tablets were found hidden inside some 2,000 grenades shipped from Beirut.